2009;1285:182C7. models to alter neurogenesis rates, or ablate the newborn cells outright. While findings are mixed and many unanswered questions remain, numerous studies now demonstrate that ablating newborn granule cells can have disease modifying effects in epilepsy. Taken together, findings provide a strong rationale for continued work to elucidate the role of newborn granule cells in epilepsy: both to understand basic mechanisms underlying the disease, and as a potential novel therapy for epilepsy. is challenging, studies have revealed at least one unusual mechanism by which migration of adult neurons can occur. Specifically, time-lapse imaging of granule cells in slice culture revealed that granule cell somas can migrate upwards through an apical dendrite, repositioning the soma into the molecular layer (Fig.?4) [22, 23]. This process of somatic translocation has not been directly observed creation of recurrent circuits is hypothesized to promote epileptogenesis by increasing hippocampal excitability. Physiological evidence of recurrent circuitry has been found in numerous epilepsy models by recording field potential activity from the granule cell layer while stimulating the perforant path in acute hippocampal slices . In tissue from normal animals, each stimulus Gamitrinib TPP hexafluorophosphate produces only a single population spike: evidence of the tight control of granule cell firing characteristic of the normal brain. In tissue from epileptic animals, by contrast, a single stimulus can induce multiple population spikes. These secondary spikes are hypothesized to be mediated by recurrent circuitry, allowing activity to re-invade the dentate. Consistent with this interpretation, targeted deletion of PTEN from a subset of granule cells leads to the development of basal dendrites on 90% of the knockout cells, and unusually robust secondary spikes following perforant path stimulation (Fig.?7) . Basal dendrites are a promising candidate for mediating this recurrent activity, although mossy fiber sprouting could also play a role, as could impaired inhibition . Open in a separate window Fig.7 Responses to lateral perforant path (LPP) stimulation of increasing amplitude (60, 80, 200 and 400A) from a control mouse and a PTEN KO mouse. In slices from the control mouse (A) the field excitatory post-synaptic potential (fEPSP) increased in amplitude with greater stimulation current and was followed by the appearance of a single population spike (negative going event) once threshold was reached. The slice from the PTEN KO mouse (B) also showed increasing fEPSP slope with increasing current, however, Gamitrinib TPP hexafluorophosphate multiple population spikes were evoked. C: Hypothesized mechanism for the generation of multiple population spikes. Perforant path stimulation evokes an fEPSP in granule cell dendrites (1) leading to a population spike (2) which creates a secondary fEPSP in a granule cell basal dendrite (3). This recurrent activation provokes a secondary population spike (4). Portions of this image are reprinted from LaSarge et al. . Granule cells with disorganized apical dendritic trees Epileptogenic insults in animal models disrupt the apical dendritic structure of newly-generated granule cells. Cells that are mature at the time of the insult are resistant to this form of disruption . Disruption can Gamitrinib TPP hexafluorophosphate manifest as an overall disorganization of the dendritic tree, but a few recurring patterns are also evident. One such abnormality is a failure of dendritic self-avoidance. In normal animals, the dendrites and dendritic branches of a given granule cell will project away from each other, creating an even, fan-like spread in the molecular layer. Granule cells generated in the epileptic brain, by contrast, frequently develop a more columnar appearance, occupying overlapping space in the molecular layer (Fig.?8). Abnormalities of this nature have been described in the pilocarpine model of epilepsy [10, 55], the PTEN knockout model of epilepsy  Rabbit Polyclonal to NPY5R and in tissue resected from patients with intractable temporal lobe epilepsy . The functional significance of the normal, fanlike spread of granule cell dendrites has yet to be fully elucidated. This spreading may allow the cells to effectively sample afferent fibers entering the molecular layer via the perforant path. Recent computational modeling work supports the conclusion that elaborate granule cell dendritic trees are critical for maintaining sparse granule cell firing, a key trait for effective pattern separation . Collapsed dendritic trees, therefore, may impair the ability of these cells to process information. Open in a separate window Fig.8.